Lets talk about the air tonight. Not the air we breathe as much as the air as a medium for light. Light can travel in a vacuum, but a quick survey of photographs from space reveal that light in the absence air is a harsh, white affair. Without air, light is binary, either completely on or totally off. In space everything is either blazing hot or freezing cold. The air gives us a million shades of temperature and hue between those extremes. Light paints the air and all contained within it with vivid colors and even sensations.
I guess I’m waxing poetic because fall has at last descended upon New Orleans, and the best sign of this is carried in the air. In autumn the air here loses its weight and allows the light through to reflect brightly off of the city for the first time in months. This makes the colors pop in ways you had forgotten in the dreary washed out depths of summer. Breaths too come easier, freer, almost encouraging themselves out and in from your lungs of their own accord. Exercise becomes a pastime that seems wise rather than suicidal. Sounds seem to travel faster and hit the ear sharper, creating spaces in the environment inhabited by the little sonic vignettes of day to day life.
Its really day to day life that comes to the forefront of the cleaner, cooler air. No longer subjected to the oppression of the summer air, the entire world comes alive outdoors. Windows and doors open into the street spilling the signs of life into the air, full of cooking smells and children’s laughter. Even the lit interiors of the passing buses seem cozy, like they’d be a place you’d want to sit a spell and read a book wearing a turtleneck on the way to some fire warmed lamplit fantasy of autumn revelry. Autumn is the time for these kind of fantasies, the time to live visions of clouded breath and close friends, the time recover your love of a life lived in the free and open air.